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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:42 19th September 2009

BURNLEY 3 SUNDERLAND 1

David Nugent said that coming to Burnley had put a smile on his face - and the striker produced a grin to light up Turf Moor after his two stunning goals killed off Sunderland to extend the Clarets' 100 per cent home record.

Nugent freely admits he had lost his way at Portsmouth, but the former Preston man has always had a liking for scoring at Burnley and he finally did so in claret and blue to cap a perfect home debut.

Coming off the bench, the recent loan signing showed he had lost none of his goalscoring knack with a 67-minute header and then a classy left-foot finish as Burnley produced an inspired second-half performance to bounce back from their defeats at Chelsea and Liverpool in style.

Manager Owen Coyle has shown faith in the same side by resisting the option of making changes from the start and when Graham Alexander rammed home an early trademark penalty it looked as though normal home service might be resumed.

But Burnley didn't really click for the remainder of the first half and the in-form Darren Bent deservedly equalised with the first goal Burnley had conceded at home in over 12 hours of football.

Yet the Clarets' attacking verve had not deserted them for long and aided and abetted by the introduction of Nugent and Chris Eagles from the bench then they took apart a Sunderland side which had started the season in encouraging fashion as Nugent stole the glory.

It all followed an uncertain start in which Chris McCann needed to make a timely interception to prevent Bent from pouncing on an Andy Reid ball into the penalty area as Sunderland started well.

The Clarets made their presence felt for the first time with an impressive turn and shot from Steve Fletcher and although that flew just over the top Burnley went ahead in the 13th-minute.

A fine pass from Alexander saw Elliott take the ball past Anton Ferdinand before being caught by the Sunderland defender who gave referee Chris Foy one of the easier penalty decisions he will have to make.

Graham Alexander puts Burnley ahead from the spot

Alexander is not one to pass up such an opportunity and the stand-in captain duly hammered the spot-kick past inernational team-mate Craig Gordon.

Lifted by that goal Alexander almost teed Martin Paterson up for a second but the striker was unable to connect sweetly enough with a tricky volley on the turn.

And Sunderland did not take long to rally and make life difficult for the Clarets, who were given little time to play and build any sort of momentum to support Paterson.

The Clarets' defence looked uncharacterstically jittery at times and a mistake by Andre Bikey let in Bent for a chance which Brian Jensen blocked.

Burnley then lost Chris McCann to a knee injury following a tackle by Michael Turner and six minutes before the break Sunderland were level.

Reid was allowed too much time to run with the ball and pick out a pass and when he did he coolly picked out Bent who this time time stayed on side and beat Jensen with a composed finish to puncture Burnley's defensive record and claim his fifth goal of the season.

A free-kick from Robbie Blake almost got the Clarets going but Bikey was unable to make sufficient contact on his diving header at full stretch and seven minutes into the second half Coyle's men needed a sharp save from Jensen to keep them level as he beat out a volley from Fraizer Campbell.

But Burnley were far more positive after the break as they got more men into advanced positions. Elliott set the tone when he fired over and Coyle's substitutions paid off spectacularly as Burnley regained the lead mid-way through the half.

Nugent and Eagles combined to launch a lethal counter-attack which ended with Elliott crossing for Nugent to power home a superb header.

And if that was a top quality finish his second was even better. This time Elliott led the break and then after he found Tyrone Mears, the full-back rolled the ball into the feet of Nugent who turned and curled a beauty into the top corner with four minutes to go.

Sunderland were a beaten side and were lucky to finish with 11 men as Phil Bardsley allowed his frustration to boil over with a late challenge on Joey Gudjonsson who thankfully avoided injury to prevent any gloss being taken off another Turf Moor triumph.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Fletcher (Eagles 64mins), McCann (Gudjonsson 30), Elliott, Blake, Paterson (Nugent 57mins). Substitutes:Penny, McDonald, Thompson, Guerrero.

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Turner, Ferdinand, McCartney, Malbranque (Jones 62mins), Cana, Richardson, Reid, Bent, Campbell. Substitutes: Carson, Da Silva, Mensah, Nosworthy, Henderson, Healy.

Attendance: 20,196

Referee: C Foy

    Data provided by Press Association